There will be 10 “dramatic” changes to the Resource Management Act, we’re told, outlined by Minister Nick Smith tonight in Nelson. The Herald lists them without giving details:
Nick Smith's RMA reforms
1. Add management of natural hazards
2. Recognise urban planning
3. Prioritise housing affordability
4. Acknowledge importance of infrastructure
5. Greater weight to property rights
6. National planning templates
7. Speed up plan-making
8. Encouraging collaborative resolution
9. Strengthening national tools
10. Internet for simplicity and speed
At first sight these look like the tinkering announced but not pursued last year, with the fascinating addition of item 5 – about which I’m keen to learn more, even if I find it hard based on past experience to be at all excited.
This comment, picked up by the Herald, looks interesting however:
Dr Smith said changes to the purposes and principles, known as section 6 and 7, were "essential."
The amendments were still being worked out, but Dr Smith wanted economic growth, urban development and management of natural hazards to be added to these crucial sections.
At present, these sections provided for protection of coastlines, landscapes, historic heritage, lakes, rivers and vegetation.
"The idea that the only consideration in resource consenting is protection of nature is naïve," Dr Smith said.